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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Way Overdue Artifacts Box Break

A while back, I ripped a pack of Upper Deck Artifacts and really liked it. The design was really different from everything else out there and it appealed to me. It reminds me of an Indiana Jones movie or something. I picked up a couple of packs here and there and eventually broke down and got a blaster a couple of months ago. At the time I was getting to the nitty gritty on my A&G and Goudey sets and I was looking for a cool, small, easy to complete set to build (and have a few packs to rip) while I looked for those last few cards for my other sets. Artifacts seemed good, it was only 100 cards and did not have the numbered short prints of the other Artifacts sets.

I got this box, was a little put off by it, and then UD Masterpieces came out and I forgot all about Artifacts. Masterpieces turned out to be the set I really wanted, 90 cards, the checklist ranges from stars (or at least top prospects) to eternal all-time Legends and it was gorgeous to boot. Now I have a mostly completed Masterpieces set (working on one last trade!) and 60% of a set I don't know what to do with now. Here's the box break for posterity. There are still a lot of these floating out there (I have a feeling Artifacts will be the packs in repack boxes and Target El-Cheapo bins in a couple of years) and this can serve as a warning, or an encouragement if you like this sort of thing, to anyone out there looking at a box. First, the box:

The box has a rather cool design, it's made to look like an old packing crate, presumably carrying some treasure from the Orient. I'm not exactly sure why they chose a picture of Derek Jeter about to pick his nose to be the cover boy for the product, but archaeologists pick their noses too I suppose. There's also a big day-glo "EXCLUSIVE - Find a memorabilia card in EVERY BOX!!" plastered on the front. Hey, a gamer per box! I've said before they should have been doing this for a while now. Put all the relics in blasters and voilà - no more pack searching. Finally, progress! The sides show a Jeter Divisional Artifacts game-used card (with two pinstripes!) and advertises "Pull Antiquity and Divisional Artifacts memorabilia cards!" in a sort of stencil motif. There's even "FRAGILE" (which I think is Italian for Major Award) stenciled on there as well. So now you're thinking wooooo.... gamers... me want Antiquity and Divisional Artifacts! One Per box! ME BUY!!! So the front says "one memorabilia per box" and the sides say "pull Antiquity and Divisional Artifacts memorabilia cards". Remember that for later. Now to the packs:

2 David Ortiz
51 Derek Lowe
18 Joe Mauer
25 Nick Swisher
65 Adrian Gonzalez

Big Papi is one of my favorite players, so we're off to a good start.

23 Johnny Damon
99 Jose A. Reyes RC
69 David Eckstein
40 Ken Griffey Jr.
85 Jerry Owens RC

Griffey Jr., plus the other Jose Reyes. Jose A. didn't even play this year, but his baseball-reference.com page is sponsored by a cool Braves blog I'd never seen before just right now. This pack just went from meh to Awesome.

45 Hanley Ramirez
80 Fred Lewis RC
8 Travis Hafner
98 Sean Henn RC
35 Stephen Drew

Hanley, Pronk, JD little brother and two Rooks. Fred Lewis is a solid name for a solid 3rd/4th outfielder. I'm rootin' for ya Fred.

* This is where the memorabilia card was located. We'll get to that later.

33 Roy Halladay
47 Lance Berkman
79 Delwyn Young RC
4 Curt Schilling
49 Craig Biggio

Cy, All-Star, blocked prospect (if the Dodgers hesitate to give Kemp a shot, what chance has Delwyn got?), Hall of Famer, Hall of Famer. As far as the packs go, this is a kickin' box so far.

62 Trevor Hoffman
77 Daisuke Matsuzaka RC
32 Vernon Wells
54 Jose Reyes
96 Ryan Braun RC

Dice-Man, the right Jose Reyes and the wrong Ryan Braun. Still groovin along...

46 Dontrelle Willis
31 Mark Teixeira
84 Oswaldo Navarro RC
34 Brandon Webb
65 Matt Cain

W00t! Another Mark Teixeira! Now I have one to put in the set and one to keep in my pants put in my Braves box.

1 Miguel Tejada
76 Cesar Jimenez RC
61 Freddy Sanchez
19 Torii Hunter
93 Mike Rabelo RC

Last pack is a little lackluster but no complaints about the cards. Lots of stars, the Dice-K rookie, no Braves but I got Tex, and no doubles. Not a bad box. Now......... here's the advertised relic card.

That's not a Divisional Artifacts card... Nor is it an Antiquity card (I know, I looked it up on the interweb). That's right, the one-per box card is not from '07 Artifacts, but a card from 2002. Upper Deck Diamond Connection Quads to be exact. It's not exactly a bad card, although it would have been a hell of a lot better back in '02 before all the subjects got really old really quick. Plus the book value is something like 20-25 bucks, but still I felt like the rug was yanked out on me a little here. I didn't expect the "one per box" card to be a refugee from one of the Memorabilia Blister packs you see at Target. Once again I'm bitching about pulling a really neat card, but it still seems like there was a little false advertising here. Of course I already pulled a freaking SWEET Jeter auto from this product, so I can chuck the rest of the cards in the trash and still make out like a bandit even if I never get around to completing the set now. So if you cool kids see one of these mysterious packing crates at the checkout aisle of your local box store, now you know what you're getting into.


Anonymous said...

I almost bought one of these before. I didn't realize the game used card would be a retread. Thanks for the post, now the next time I am tempted to pull the trigger I will holster my weapon instead.

Anonymous said...

Nice reference to A Christmas Story.

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